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  1. #1

    2007 ULTRA LX - Con Rod Bolts Query

    This is my first engine rebuild and I don't have much engine building experience, and therefore I have been following the manual to the letter, sometimes at the expense of logic.

    Over the week I re-assembled my con-rod big ends onto my crankpins, and found that two of the four con-rods were rotating very freely as I was expecting, but two were much tighter and did not rotate freely, with the one requiring a fair bit of effort to rotate.

    Initially I thought that I had selected the incorrect big-end bearings, but that suspicion fell away after a double check on the order record.

    Last night I had a closer look at the big ends, and I noticed a very feint mark across the con-rod and the big-end cap.

    So I checked the two con-rods that were tight and it dawned on me that there is a correct orientation for the big end caps when re-mating with the con-rod. Anyway, I then loosend and removed the con-rod big end bolts to rotate the cap and this solved the issue perfectly, now all four con-rods rotate freely.

    The moral of this long-winded story, the con-rod big end caps can only be fitted back onto the con-rod ONE way, even though this wasn't pointed out in the manual. Unless I missed this. I post this here for information for the next guy that reaches this problem - always check the con-rod big end caps are correctly orientated.

    The question I have, I know the manual says do not re-use the bolts after tightening, and I am leaning towards buying two pairs of new bolts and nuts (at $55 for the lot), but do I really have to replace these bolts and nuts? I did tighten to full torque spec and rotate the nuts by 120 degrees.

    Appreciate all opinions on this.


  2. #2
    boudin's Avatar
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    Looking through the shop manual again, I don't see where the orientation of the con rods matters, but I do myself make sure the weight stamp is oriented all the same direction. I do always plastiguage all the clearances to be certain.

    -Greg

  3. #3
    steve45's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by boudin View Post
    I do always plastiguage all the clearances to be certain.

    -Greg
    When you use Plastigauge, do you use the old bolts, check the clearance, then re-install with new bolts?

  4. #4
    boudin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve45 View Post
    When you use Plastigauge, do you use the old bolts, check the clearance, then re-install with new bolts?
    Correct.

    -Greg

  5. #5
    Thanks for weighing in guys. Yes double checked with plastigage with the old bolts and all checked out, so I was really stumped when they were so tight. But yes, the orientation of the con rod caps can only be put on one way, not sure the orientation of the con rod itself matters.

    Any opinions from you guys on if I have to replace these two brand new bolts and nuts after I had to remove them to rotate the big end/con rod caps?

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by blakegjones View Post
    Thanks for weighing in guys. Yes double checked with plastigage with the old bolts and all checked out, so I was really stumped when they were so tight. But yes, the orientation of the con rod caps can only be put on one way, not sure the orientation of the con rod itself matters.

    Any opinions from you guys on if I have to replace these two brand new bolts and nuts after I had to remove them to rotate the big end/con rod caps?
    I think you should replace bolts with nuts if you tighten them because they are stretch when you tight them and in cars the same thing and there is a special tool to measure how much it stretch and it should be around the manufacture specification but in Kawasaki we don't have these measures.

    Maybe I am wrong because I am car mechanic and this my first time in rebuild jet ski engine but I use my car repair experience in jet ski.
    I hope guys in forum can help you because too many of them have more experience.

  7. #7
    fx160's Avatar
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    As they are stretch bolts I would replace them

  8. #8
    Thanks everyone. I will replace.

  9. #9
    Thanks everyone. I will replace.

  10. #10
    Myself's Avatar
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    Rod cap orientation, facing a certain direction, is common on all 4 stroke engines. It's sort of "common knowledge" when wrenching. Upon disassembly, if you see no discernable markings you mark them yourself. Normally there is a casting mark or casting number that faces forward, vehicle front. Sometimes just one side of the rod then you mark the cap to match.

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